Monday, September 24, 2012


I had a wonderful follow-up appointment today with Dr Okonkwo.

- My incision site remains nice looking (and infection free)

- My walking is great! Yesterday we did 3 miles.

- The mobility in my neck is good. I can look 90 degrees both left and right.

- I've been functioning well on no medication for about 10 days now.

- My ability to eat has returned, even if I'm not that hungry. I do eat!

All and all I think he was pleased

We also got some encouraging news for moving forward.

I have to be careful not to strain in any way. The mesh that was sewn into my head will take about 3 months before my dura (the covering of the brain) fully re-grows and incorporates itself with my brain in this new position. Until then, doing anything too strenuous could bust the stitches that my genius surgeon worked so hard to put in place. That's an outcome I'd like to avoid.

So I've put jazzercise and breakdancing on hold for a while. Along with jogging. I'm so very okay with this.

In the meantime, I'm encouraged to walk as much as I can tolerate. To stretch and keep my body moving (even mild yoga). And he even said my 3 lb weights are good (I have all the proper work outs from months of physical therapy that I went through a few years ago).

I can also move forward with other activities - in moderation - as my energy level can handle. That means if I REALLY REALLY wanted to attend a rave (which I don't, this is a hypothetical) it technically wouldn't harm my surgery's success - but it might make me fatigued. And rest is still important.

Overall, I'm so excited about all this!  There's been a few initial post-surgical guidelines that had been strictly enforced in this household (i.e.: "no cooking"). Now they can be lifted in favor of giving me back my discernment and a bit more freedom (I'm not about roast a turkey but can a girl dice an onion!)

Neil I know you are reading this, please don't think me ungrateful for your vigilance... thanks to you I've progressed so well. But please excuse me while I reach above my head to grab that fall sweater off the top shelf - with out assistance.   oh sweet freedom!


  1. I love you Em. This is amazing news! And let me say it again, you are an amazing person and writer! Thinking of you all the time friend!

  2. Such amazing progress you are making. It's hard to believe how far you've come in a little over a month - not to mention over the past 4 years. God bless Dr. O and all those that lead you to him. Love, Aunt Barb

  3. I am so happy about your progress and do not feel the least bit slighted by your comments. Each piece of life that you can recapture is fantastic for you and for us. Love you!

  4. Em -
    Did the mesh give you a new-found abilitiy to predict clothing need based on the temperature reading? It's 61 out and you are reaching for a sweater! The pre-mesh Em would have heard that it is 61 degrees outside and said (in an unsure voice) "so.....shorts and a t-shirt?"
    Here's to dicing onions, three pound weights, and grabbing sweaters on a sweater appropriate day!!!
    Awesome news and good job! Keep it up!


  5. 3 miles?!??! I'm suitably impressed. You've passed this pregnant girl's limits, fo sho!

  6. It sounds like you had a pretty good follow-up!

    I can actually relate to being happy that you can do someething on your own after not being able to do much at all so double yay - grab some more sweaters (but don't over do it).

    Hugs, Gabby

  7. WOOT WOOT! Amazing steps. Let me know when you get to the turkey roasting step. ;o)

  8. Fantastic news!! Your perseverance and courage are so inspirational. I reached for a sweater today, too :). Love Aunt Cathy

  9. Such great news. You can saute but no whitewater rafting. Got it.

    Also be aware of any superpowers you might have acquired along the way. They'd probably be mental ones like the ability to summon wild animals with your thoughts (I can do that with stink bugs) or to sense small abnormalities in the time/space continuum. You know, the usual.

    p.s. the guys were thrilled with your pic and message to them. They were asking about you before I had the video projector powered up. I had to tell them to hold their horses!